Frank Langella reveals his love of older women
- Last Updated: 12:35 AM, March 11, 2012
- Posted: 11:54 PM, March 10, 2012
He likes his women like a fine wine — aged.
As the “Frost/Nixon” star dishes about the people he worked with over his 40-year career in his new memoir, Frank Langella reveals a penchant for veteran actresses.
He bedded Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor at the end of their careers, befriended 90-year-old Brooke Astor, and had phone foreplay with the legendary Bette Davis, who was 20 years his senior.
“Dropped Names” contains stories only about the dead — so don’t expect any revelations about his five-year relationship with Whoopi Goldberg (a rare younger conquest) and his 2009 courtship of Goldberg’s co-star on “The View” Barbara Walters, who had just turned 80.
And there’s a reason why he keeps the living out of his tome.
“Don’t turn the page if you like your stories spoon-fed or sugar-spread,” Langella warns in the preface. “There will be a fair amount of forks to the eyes and knives to the throat; even a self-inflicted wound or two.”
Luckily, Langella, 74, delivers, exposing the sometimes self-centered, sometimes nasty and always eccentric lives of his rich and famous friends.
Paul Newman, known for his impressive roster of charities as well as his film roles, was beautiful and dull, “like the Statue of David.”
Richard Burton was a “crashing bore” who spent his time reciting poetry in a drunken haze.
Charlton Heston, a “weak piece of wood,” lacked acting chops. Legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg was a “pompous pygmy” running a “highly profitable racket.”
Even his idol Rex Harrison, best known as Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” is not above criticism. Harrison was a “real son of a bitch” and “resolutely homophobic.”
But it’s the actresses that he deeply cared for — despite their flaws — that makes for the best reading.
Langella met the redheaded beauty during the making of the 1972 film “The Wrath of God” in Mexico.
She was in her mid-50s, and playing his mother.
Working on the set with her was a “nightmare” because she was incapable of remembering her lines, prompting cast and crew to belittle the star behind her back. No one knew her memory problems were the beginning signs of the Alzheimer’s disease that would later kill her.
Langella admits he didn’t sympathize with Hayworth and assumed her behavior was the “neurotic insecurity of a fading star.”
Yet, despite her difficulties on set (and the 20-year age difference) the two hit it off and began an intense seven-week affair. They spent every evening together over unending cocktails.
Often during the night she “clings, weeps and talks in words I cannot understand, and it is not always my name she calls out in the dark.” This unraveling is too much for Langella, who never spent a full night with her, leaving her to wake up from her hangovers the next morning alone.Follow @NYPostOpinion